Getting the perfect photo of the Eclipse with your smartphone

by: Kristin Leigh Updated:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Everything we do these days is documented with smartphones, and the eclipse will be no different.

But the total eclipse, when the sun passes behind the moon, will be fleeting. NASA estimates totality will last for about 2.5 minutes, which gives families a short window to take photos.

NASA suggests you prepare ahead of time to get the best photos.

Here are tips for photographing the eclipse:

 

  1. You need two pair of glasses: one to protect your eyes from the bright sun, the other to protect the lens on your smartphone camera. During totality, when the moon blocks the sun, it’s safe to remove the filter so you can see the sun’s outer atmosphere: the corona.  
  2. Learn your phone’s camera ahead of time, making sure you know how to manually focus and adjust the exposure. Most smartphones allow you to focus on an object by tapping the screen. You can then adjust the exposure by sliding your finger up and down on the screen, making the exposure lighter or darker.
  3. While many people want a good, tight shot of the eclipse, keep a bigger picture in mind. The landscape around you will be changing as the sun passes behind the moon, which will create cool shadows and a great opportunity for awesome pictures or a time-lapse video.
  4. Purchase a tripod for your smartphone, to get a good, stable shot of the eclipse. Smartphone tripods range between $10 and $20 at most department stores.
  5. Make sure your glasses are ISO-certified. A stamp inside the glasses will read “ISO.” Sunglasses are not strong enough, and the bright sun during the eclipse could damage your eyes or affect your vision.